Mark Twain's Happiness

'Humor is the great thing,' wrote Mark Twain.'The saving thing.' The irreverent satirist blazed a wayward path that happiness gurus should not ignore.

"There's a scurrilous rumour abroad, on self-improvement websites, that Mark Twain is the source of the simpering fridge-magnet quotation. ... Even the genuine Twainisms recycled in countless self-help books—'Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter'—aren't his best. I think I know why. Popular psychology, these days, is a strikingly earnest field; acerbic wit is largely the preserve of cynics who scoff at self-help. It's bizarre: all these grinning gurus preaching happiness, yet without much sense of humour. Twain proved that needn't be so: you can dispense real, uncynical life-wisdom, and still be hilarious."

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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